20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
My first Pink Floyd album,
This review is from: Animals (Audio CD)
Well, no it wasn't actually, it was my brother's, but nine months later I have practically everything that you could associate with Pink Floyd, inluding a my own much cherised copy of this album. From start to finish, Pink Floyd's 'Animals' is immaculate.
'Dogs' is the first Pink Floyd song that I ever listened to, and to this day remains one of my favourite songs. But the album starts and closes with the quieter 'Pigs On The Wing ', an acoustic piece written by Roger Waters. At first, these 1:25 songs may seem insignificant, but they aren't. They do two things; firstly, they provide gentle relief on an otherwise very intense album, and secondly, they enhance the animals image of this album. But in terms of how good they are, the middle three walk all over them.
'Dogs' got me hooked straight away (I'd ignored 'Pigs On The Wing 1'.) The riff at the beginning is amazing, Waters lyrics are up there with his very best, and the guitar solos are out of this world. I don't care what people say abou 'Sheep' (which is fantastic, by the way), 'Dogs' is the best song on this album. 17:04 of pure genius.
'Pigs (Three Different Ones)' is almost, but not quite as good. It is difficult to phrase this, but let's just say that 'Pigs (...)' is the least magnificent of the middle three tracks. That said, the riff is again superb, the lyrics pure vitriol and the guitar solo at the end absolutely monstrous. Gilmour shredding? You heard correct.
'Sheep' is the shortest of the three epic tracks on here, and is most people's favourite. Its bass riff at the beginning is remniscient of 'One Of These days' from 1971s 'Meddle'. But 'Sheep' is far, far better. Again, Waters excels himself by producing astonishingly thought-provoking lyrics, and Gilmour's guitar crescendo at the end is superlative. 'Pigs On The Wing 2' ends the album on a quieter note.
The concept behind 'Animals' is fairly simple. The dogs are the businessmen and self-important idiots whose ultimate fate is to die of cancer, dragged down by the weight of their own self-importance. The pigs are the fat cats and politicians who try and impose their moral values on others (Mary Whitehouse) and the sheep are those who follow the dogs and pigs blindly. George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' helped provide the concept, with Waters even reciting 'The Lord's Prayer' from Orwell's classic with a mechanically enhanced dark voice on 'Sheep'. Only Waters is singing about our modern day society, rather than Communism. However, the famous line from 'Animal Farm' can also be applied here, 'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than othes'. Brilliant! Even if, even as Waters was singing abour political unjustice, certain animals were more important than others in his band. And Waters allows that he is something of a dog. Really? You have/had an ego? Wow.
'Animals' has lasted remarkably well, and is only marginally outdone by perhaps four or five of their other albums (well, they are really that good.) I think that this belongs in everyone's collection.